mid-week training crit, a dead-flat industrial park crit which I favor
because the roads are wide, and did I mention the dead flatness?
Most of the race featured a noteworthy headwind on the start-finish
straight. This was only my second training crit of the year, owing to
rain-outs and scheduling issues.
So, I signed up for the "C" group, a matter of scheduling more than
sandbagging, but I didn't expect to be competitive in "B" quite yet.
Nonetheless, I was curious as to how my fitness would be among the
novices and first-timers.
Dead flat race with lots of wind, so the early action was very limited:
desultory attacks, minimal pace for nearly half the race. I hung near
the front, never dropping further back than about 10th wheel.
I had two capable teammates in the race, and as the prime bell finally
rang, I was still near the front of the race, and halfway around the
short (2km?) lap, I started shouting at my teammates to get in line. At
that point I was about 4th wheel, more or less, with the leaders showing
no interest in attacking.
So I dragged it out, and lead out my teammate for the prime sprint.
You know you're pulling pretty well when you launch your teammate to the
prime and still finish second in the sprint. I'm sure he enjoyed me
yelling "faster!" at him as he crossed the line.
As soon as I crossed the line, I was bagged, and four riders (including
my other teammate) formed up a break. 1:4 struck me as good odds, so I
slipped into the pack to recover, and I came good within a lap.
At that point, I spent the rest of the race near the front of the chase
group with my prime-winning teammate, just watching the leaders gain a
few seconds per lap. They stayed away, with me doing nothing to help the
So now it's a sprint for fifth place. Blah blah blah, some guys went
sorta fast, I stayed near the front on their wheels, another guy went
fast, I found a few inches between two guys, I went really fast, and I
walked away with the bunch sprint handily, looking genuinely powerful as
My teammate in the break got fourth.
Lessons: sprint is still there. On flat courses, I probably don't
deserve to race with the "C" group now. But hey, I am a fat Cat 4. The
finish sprint looked impressive, but the part I am happiest about was
smoothly leading out my teammate, and recovering from the effort without
blowing up and getting spit out the back. The only thing left to decide
is whether I should sandbag this series until they kick me to "B", or
You should come to Vancouver Joseph: the racing would suit you quite
Ryan Cousineau firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.wiredcola.com/
"In other newsgroups, they killfile trolls."
"In rec.bicycles.racing, we coach them."